Depression, the UK, getting help etc

I've been getting by for a bit, but I'm not all too good; I don't especially want to share, but I've done a few things recently that have made it painfully aware that I'm not just unhappy, and I don't think I'm just going to get over it or whatever people are supposed to do.

I live in the UK, I'm at university, but outside of term-time I live with my family. I don't really know how to go about getting help for depression, do I just call a GP or something? I don't want people to know about it. The last time I went through a really bad phase where it was obvious I wasn't ok, my mum got very upset, and she's never treated me the same way since. I'm at university now so it's easier to hide, but I really hate the idea of my family worrying about me that much.

I've seen quite a few people talk about this kind of thing so I figured this would be the place to go for advice. I'm hoping that someone who has gone through this can shed some light on how to get help on it before I do something awful and really hurt people through it.

If you're looking for medication, I'm pretty sure your GP can prescribe some, or at least point you in the direction of a psychiatrist. If you're looking for counselling, your university probably has at least a basic mental health department. If they don't offer counselling there, they'll at least tell you somewhere you can get it. If you just want some basic things to help cheer yourself up, try exercising (it helps a lot, more than you would think) forcing yourself to spend time with friends, even when you just want to lie in bed all day, and give yourself stuff to look forward to. Whether it's making plans or ordering something online and waiting for it in the mail, something on the horizon usually helps me feel better.

I wish I could be more help, I've been through depression before, and I know how awful it is. I'm terrible at giving advice. Just know that while you feel awful now, you won't always feel that way. I know that's hard to believe, especially if you've gone through something like this in the past, but you will get through it and come out better on the other side. I wouldn't have believed it myself if you told me a year and a half ago, when I had constant suicidal thoughts every day, but now I truly feel great about my life and hopeful for the future.

The only advice I can give is not to let this short-term (in the grand scheme of things) low have detrimental effects on your life long-term. Obviously suicide falls under that umbrella, but so does skipping class, pounding junk food, severing friendships, etc. That stuff may give you extremely short-term boosts, but the negative ramifications will bring your mood down later on. And while we're on the nasty subject, if you ever get to the point where you really think you're going to commit suicide, go to the Emergency Room at your hospital. They'll help you there.

I'm rambling a bit, but, like I said, that's just because I'm trying to help as best I can with very little experience at it. You'll get through it! *internet hug*

What I did was go to the health center at college. They referred me to clinic and stuff.
Other than that it got to a point where I just had to go to a doctor, so googled it.

I agree that you shouldn't go to short term solutions.
It is tough, but it will pay off in the long run.

Also for parents, many will prefer to be in denial.
If you feel that their denial and rejection will hurt you more, then leave them alone and carry on with your life for now.

It's difficult to say without knowing what the exact issue is.

Either way, the three most common treatments for depression are:

Counselling.
Medication.
Cognitive behavioural therapy.

The first is more or less what you'd expect. Speak to somebody professional how you feel, try to get to the root of the problem and hopefully deal with whatever emotional issue is causing it (assuming it isn't purely biological, but this isn't as common unless it runs in the family).

Medication is more or less self explanatory, but personally I am not confident in it's effectiveness. Some people get less than ideal side effects, but this may be an option for you. If the side effects do occur, you can always ask to change the medication. They aren't lethal ones, they just may affect your mood in other ways.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is the one I know the least about. What I do know is that it's an attempt to change your thinking patterns. A way of making you look at things differently, and dealing with things in other ways to try and combat the problems you have. Think of a self help book, but not a scam to make money. It's like a mix between a counsellor and one of those.

The one thing I'd definitely recommend is simply speaking to a doctor. They are bound by law to keep what you say confidential if you are concerned about friends and family may think. It's not something that is easy to do, but if you tell them how you are feeling, and how those feelings have lead you to behave, they will be able to provide you with much better advice than any of us.

As somebody who has a whole family of depressed people (including myself) I can empathise with how damaging it can be.

Best of luck.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I'll get my arse down to a doctor.

Angie7F:

Also for parents, many will prefer to be in denial.
If you feel that their denial and rejection will hurt you more, then leave them alone and carry on with your life for now.

I'm sure that wouldn't be the case. My mum is very supportive, but I know that her knowing I am miserable upsets her a lot.

Just a quick update (I hate it when people make threads like this and then you never hear from them again, it makes me worry): I've booked an initial session with the university's counselling team for Monday, hopefully that should be helpful.

Thanks again.

No sure if I'm too late to post, but from someone in the UK who's had similar issues and decided to do something about it, here's my advice.

First, register with a local GP if you don't already go to one nearby. They most likely can't help with your issue, but can give you a referral and NHS info and advice to read in your own time. When I saw mine, they gave me the following number:

Call the NHS Psychological Therapies and Wellbeing Service number

tell them your situation, and they'll arrange a questionnaire to fill out and a second phone call to talk about things in detail (mine lasted over an hour). Being the NHS, the price for being free is that you are put in a queue, the length I believe is determined by the severity of the problem (it was 2 months for me before I received a text confirming an appointment).

Once appointments are confirmed, depending on treatment they usually last between 6 - 12 weeks. I know this is the case with cognitive behavioural therapy.

So far it's gone well for me, so hopefully it can help you too.

Talaris:
No sure if I'm too late to post, but from someone in the UK who's had similar issues and decided to do something about it, here's my advice.

First, register with a local GP if you don't already go to one nearby. They most likely can't help with your issue, but can give you a referral and NHS info and advice to read in your own time. When I saw mine, they gave me the following number:

Call the NHS Psychological Therapies and Wellbeing Service number

tell them your situation, and they'll arrange a questionnaire to fill out and a second phone call to talk about things in detail (mine lasted over an hour). Being the NHS, the price for being free is that you are put in a queue, the length I believe is determined by the severity of the problem (it was 2 months for me before I received a text confirming an appointment).

Once appointments are confirmed, depending on treatment they usually last between 6 - 12 weeks. I know this is the case with cognitive behavioural therapy.

So far it's gone well for me, so hopefully it can help you too.

That does sound useful (I'm in the process of filling out the form to register with a a local GP but bitterly wishing I had done so sooner), but there is one issue with it. Being a student, half my time I am 180 miles away. I'm at university here in Liverpool, but for the first two weeks of April I will be at home and then I'll be at home all summer from mid-May. I don't know how well that will work, surely I would have to have more than one therapist, or travel an unreasonable distance for treatment?

Also, given that I haven't registered yet, would I have to before calling that number? I have no idea to go about any of this, I've barely ever had any kind of medical aid, let alone mental help.

TheRightToArmBears:
Snip

I'm not 100% sure if you need a GP before you start treatment, but it's fine to call that number first and they'll probably tell you.

Regarding your distance issue, chances are you would be waiting until around May or June anyway if you enter the waiting period for treatment today, so you can specify to them that it'll need to be close to your home address during these certain months. If it's still ongoing whilst you need to go back to University, they'll probably suggest you see another therapist close to that location instead who will continue where you left off, so it'll be up to you to decide if that's OK or not.

 

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